Waking far too early (3:30am) to be so, I am writing til I get drowsy, or at least I hope I shall. Having momentarily perused my Facebook page, I noted Max’s and my beloved Theatre 68 (LA & NYC) is still requiring funds for their move to new LA quarters. How can this be? This worthwhile company can use our support, Now!
I recall the day in September, five, maybe six years ago, he remarked to me as we were sitting at a table in the only internet cafe in the sleepy hamlet of Staufen, Germany, “When we get home, I’m going to start auditioning for theatre again.” It had been many years since he had acted.. (you can see more @www.maxmiddleton.me.) Wouldn’t you know it, when we got home, I shot some pix of him, he auditioned for theatre 68, and to his surprise, “I can’t believe I got in!”
Fast forward to July 2011, countless roles later, where Max exercised his dramatic and comedic actor, we had just returned from Mexico – Max had been undergoing experimental cancer treatment and now Ronnie Marmo of General Hospital and his Theatre 68 cast members: Katy Jacoby, Joe Dalo, Jeremy Luke, Paul McGee, Michael Villar, Denny Siegel, Deborah Geffner and so many more, surround us with their love and support.
Maxie had, through his acting and involvement in 68, become part of a special community of people who happened to also be extremely talented actors. The 68 community enveloped us in their love, holding a benefit to help defray our mounting medical and care expenses. We were humbled… especially Max, who had at times gone to creative loggerheads with Ronnie. Max and Ronnie’s relationship grew with respect and love as the days seemed to move forward at a sort of emotional slow-mo pace. Looking back I review those scenes; each one of us playing our role in the real-life drama of Max’s passing from the realm of “life as we think we know it” into the Great Beyond- the one we imagine may exist after one departs.
His memory lives on in the hearts of so many, which was made plain at the celebration we held August 25, just 10 days after he left us to examine our own roles on life’s stage. I find it strangely amusing as i post this pix of him sitting on the coffin of Resting in Pieces, a play where he so aptly displayed his knack for comedy and the absurd, portraying a malaprop-prone detective.
The days, weeks, months which have followed has brought me closer to Theatre 68, and I am thankful to be embraced by my/our friends there. I purchased my “seat” for the new home of Theatre 68 to show my support and thanks from Maxie and me. (Max has his own seat, presented to me and my (our) kids at the special bi-coastal memorial held for Max at 68 in September 2011.
I am consciously playing my part in supporting Theatre 68, even from this hotel room on the isle of Lesbos in the Mediterranean, and I respectfully encourage you to do yours. Thank you for being in my community-my world is better for it.